Baramulla: Director Colleges J&K Prof Yasmeen Ashai Wednesday said that the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 is a visionary document framed to bring reforms and transformation in the higher education sector.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the inaugural session of a two-day national conference on ‘Challenges and Reforms of Institutional Autonomy in light of NEP-2020’ organised at Government Degree College (GDC), Baramulla, Prof Ashai said, “Earlier students had freedom under choice-based credit system but NEP-2020 has given more options to the students about what to opt at their undergraduate level.”
She said that the Higher Education Department (HED) started the current academic session of colleges in sync with the national academic calendar under NEP-2020 wherein the students have got absolute freedom in choosing their course with a multi-disciplinary approach.
“Under the NEP we have started a four-year UG programme under which the students with 7.5 CGPA in three years can directly go for a PhD in the 4th year while those with less than 7.5 CGPA can go for post-graduation,” Prof Ashai said.
About the GDC Baramulla which was granted autonomous status earlier this year, she said that the college had worked hard to sustain NAAC ‘A’ grade and also got the status of College with Potential Excellence (CPE).
“Based on this, the college was granted autonomous status but autonomy doesn’t only mean freedom but there has to be accountability as well,” Prof Ashai said.
She said that the college had academic freedom wherein it could design its course, admission process, and other things but the degree awarded by the college had to be “stamped” by the University of Kashmir (KU).
About the challenges in the implementation of NEP-2020 in the newly-established colleges given the dearth of infrastructure and staff, Prof Ashai said that these colleges started functioning after 2019 and most of the colleges had acquired the land to have permanent campuses.
“In case of some colleges, besides permanent campus, they have prefab structures ready where these colleges are functioning,” she said and acknowledged that some of these colleges were functioning from make-shift arrangements. “I agree a college should have human resources, curriculum, and infrastructure to implement the NEP and none of the colleges have any such problems. All the new colleges are not science but some are arts colleges. The colleges which have established some infrastructure will start Science and Commerce streams as well.”
However, she said that they have done rationalisation of staff and subjects based on the availability of students.
“The post of any subject which has no takers (students) has been converted into another subject which has more students. We don't have human resource issues anywhere,” Prof Ashai said.
About the challenges faced in NEP implementation in far-off colleges, she said that the institutions would be covered under the concept of a blend mode of education.